Beckman captures playoff victory

By Associated PressOctober 26, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 Frys.com OpenSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. ' Cameron Beckman had the feeling once before, seven long years ago.
 
That was the only other time he had won on the PGA Tour.
 
Once again, he found the reason, and the feeling, indescribable.
 
Its just been a tough year, said Beckman, one of the many journeyman players who rarely find themselves on the leaderboard, let alone at the top. I honestly was thinking about quitting the game. Thats how bad I felt. I cant explain to you how good I feel right now. I dont know what it was and why I did it, but I just felt good all day.
 
Cameron Beckman
Cameron Beckman wins for the first time on the PGA Tour in seven years. (Getty Images)
The 38-year-old Beckman tapped in a par putt on the second playoff hole Sunday to complete a big comeback and beat Kevin Sutherland in the Frys.com Open.
 
Beckman, 176th on the money list and 447th in the world ranking entering the tournament, had skipped eight weeks this season because of back problems and was in danger of losing his tour card. He already had filled out his application for qualifying school, a process he knows all to well.
 
I sat down with my wife and said, What do you think? Beckman said. I honestly was just trying to finish in the top 150 so Id get to the (qualifying school) finals.
 
With the victory, worth $900,000, hes exempt for the next two years.
 
He was playing with a lot more pressure than I was, Sutherland said.
 
Beckman was four shots behind Sutherland at the turn, then made birdies on five of the next seven holes. Sutherland missed putts of 13 and 9 feet that would have won it at the end of regulation and on the first playoff hole, also the 18th.
 
The second playoff hole was the 464-yard, par-4 17th, and it was a nightmare for Sutherland. His second shot sailed far to the right over a cart path and into the dirt. His third shot went over the green and down a hill.
 
Beckman, meanwhile, hit his second shot 6 1/2 feet from the hole. He just missed the putt, and the tap-in gave him his second PGA Tour victory. His first was the Southern Farm Bureau Classic in 2001.
 
I dont know, I just had a calmness about me this week, and it just happened, Beckman said. Its just like the last time I won. It just kind of happened. Its strange. I dont know what it is.
 
While many players were scrambling to finish high enough to earn full exempt status, Sutherland had no such pressure. He entered ranked 32nd on the earnings list and already had qualified for next years Masters and British Open.
 
I feel good about how I played. A second-place finish is nothing to sneeze at, Sutherland said, but right now its a little hard to see that through the disappointment.
 
It was the second playoff loss for Sutherland this year. He and Sergio Garcia were beaten by Vijay Singh at The Barclays on Aug. 24.
 
This one seems a little harder than Barclays for some reason, Sutherland said. I had a nice lead on the back side, and it was really nothing that I did wrong. I guess the bogey on 16 hurt. But Cameron played terrific.
 
Beckman made the turn at 13 under, then stormed back with birdies on the 10th, 11th, 14th, 15th and 16th holes.
 
He finally tied it at 18 under when Sutherland missed a 6 1/2 -foot par putt on the par-3 16th, snapping his 53-hole streak without a bogey. Beckman finished with a final-round 63, and Sutherland had a 66.
 
Australian Mathew Goggin closed with a 63 to finish third at 17-under 263. Defending champion Mike Weir also had a 63 to wind up tied with J.J. Henry (64) and second-round leader Arron Oberholser (66) at 14 under.
 
Sunday was the warmest day yet, with a high near 90 degrees, in what was a perpetually sunny four days of play on the 7,115-yard Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club.
 
The Frys event, in its second year, was the fifth of seven stops on the tours Fall Series.
 
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.